An adaptive signal timing system in Gresham, Oregon reduced average travel times by 10 percent.
Portland Metro's Investment Strategy for Management and Operations
Date Posted

Programming for Operations: MPO Examples of Prioritizing and Funding Transportation System Management & Operations Strategies

Summary Information

This document discusses how MPOs have incorporated TSMO projects into the programming phase of transportation investment decision-making in metropolitan areas. Based on a sample of practices from MPOs that have emphasized operations strategies in the planning process, this document highlights findings on:

  • Sources of funding that are being used for TSMO strategies
  • Methods for prioritizing strategies for funding
  • Staff resources devoted to TSMO-related activities
  • Initial lessons learned about effective practices.

This report includes case studies of practices related to programming TSMO strategies from nine MPOs around the country.

In addition to providing an overview of funding practices researchers provided examples of how evaluation data are used to help justify region-wide and corridor-specific ITS investments.

In Portland, the overall goal was to make the most of the transportation system by improving travel time reliability, reducing crashes, improving transit on-time arrivals, reducing travel delay, reducing fuel use, and reducing air pollution and carbon emissions. The findings below excerpted from the source report were incorporated into Portland Metro's Investment Strategy for Management and Operations.


Investment Area

Example of Benefits to Region

Multimodal Traffic Management An adaptive signal timing project installed in Gresham in 2007 reduced average travel times by 10 percent and saves over 74,000 gallons of fuel every year.
A typical signal timing project in Portland saves over 300 metric tons of CO2 annually per retimed traffic signal.
The transit signal priority project in the Portland metro area has the ability to reduce transit delay by 30 to 40 percent and improve travel time by 2 to 16 percent, based on previous studies.
Traffic Incident Management The Oregon DOT (ODOT) incident response program responds to over 12,703 incidents each year in the Portland metro area. Based on 2001 data, if all delay-causing incidents in the Portland region were reduced by 5 minutes, over 270,000 hours of delay would be saved annually.
Traveler Information In 2008, the TripCheck web site was visited over 23 million times, and that number has grown steadily since 2002 when data was first collected. The record month for visits was December 2008, with almost 6 million visits. Surveys show that TripCheck information influences travel decisions for up to 80 percent of survey respondents.
In 2009, TriMet’s transit tracker phone service received an average of 1.4 million calls every month, and 360,000 trips were planned online using the agency’s online trip planning tool.
The ride-matching web site has more than 11,000 registered users.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) An individualized marketing project in North and Northeast Portland during the opening of the MAX Yellow Line reduced auto trips by 9 percent. Transit ridership grew 44 percent, while ridership in a control group grew only 24 percent.
Employer transportation programs are in place at 1,139 work sites in the region, and 924 of those include an employer provided transit subsidy for employees. Surveys of employees indicate that the non-single occupant vehicle mode share at these work sites exceeds 35 percent.
A survey of residents in the Portland metro area found that nearly one out of five (19 percent) took action to reduce car trips because of what they saw, read, or heard about the Drive Less/Save More campaign.